How to make safe online purchases and avoid being scammed? Online shopping is more frequent and common nowadays. Today a high percentage of commerce is handled online. Even though physical stores have returned to their usual activity after the pandemic and the forced cessation of operations.
However, e-commerce is not 100% secure since fraud threats are the order of the day. And there is always the possibility of falling into this type of situation, which can be accentuated on specific dates. Such as Black Friday lends itself to launching very attractive offers.
For this reason and to make your purchase much safer and minimize the latent risks surrounding buying online. Today, we bring you a guide of steps. So buying is not a synonym for fear and distrust but a satisfying experience.
Common scams when shopping online
Some of the situations that we can come across when browsing the internet and that represent a risk of falling into traps are the following:
Some offers are excellent, and they offer us an astronomical discount based on the actual price. We usually receive these promotions by mail or messages on social media, among others. So, we fall into the seduction of the offer and continue to make the purchase.
These promotions are usually false and can be verified by entering the page. Which is most likely a site is lacking security where your data and equipment are compromised.
Another very common risk is malicious links, which seek that when you enter all your information, it falls into the hands of those who handle these links, thus representing a potential risk to your patrimonial security.
Both pages and applications can be non-existent or false. And they seek to achieve the same objective as the previous point, extract your data and constitute a scam.
Malicious software usually hide behind coupons or notifications of available super discounts. When entering it, it falls in a place contrary to what we thought and are victims of data extraction.
Steps to buying safely online
Avoid buying on unknown pages.
Possibly, it is a bit of self-evident advice. However, we can get carried away by unknown sites, but attractive concerning the merchandise they offer. And especially their costs or offering discounts and dazzling. But at the same time, these are non-existent offers, trying instead to obtain your data, your money, or both.
To avoid this, only use well-known pages with a remarkable reputation that will save you from having a hard time. When in doubt, it is recommended to go to Google and place the name of the site or page in the search engine. And verify the information it provides, as well as user mentions or comments.
Anyway, the duty is always to buy from well-known sites that provide us with security.
Make sure that the page you are entering starts with HTTPS. This information is essential since the S at the end is the one that implies the presence of security protocols that are responsible for encrypting the navigation data. The browser automatically blocks pages that do not include the S as additional information.
There is the possibility that a recognized store has not updated its page correctly. This makes it insecure and at risk for your data. Therefore, buy physically, on another site, or wait for the problem to be solved.
Avoid succumbing to overly attractive offers.
As we mentioned, this aspect is one of the most common ways scammers are dedicated to obtaining data and money from those who fall for this type of promotion.
These types of offers usually bring a deception or a trap that seeks to make the recipient agree to want to use it and thus be able to extract personal and financial data and more when they arrive from an unknown page or site. Therefore, when you see this type of offer, activate your suspicion. And avoid at all costs entering the site that is showing you this.
Avoid pages that usurp others.
Some pages pretend to be others making people enter the wrong place, this being the fraudulent one. One way to detect if you are entering a wrong page is when you write the address manually. It is registered if it is frequently used and has the URL.
But you should pay close attention if you see that the page’s address is shortened, presents different words than normal, or is separated by periods. As they can take you to the wrong and unsafe place.
A very common way of falling into this type of situation is when we enter through links on social media. Making you believe that you are entering a safe, well-known, and reliable site when the opposite is true.
Verify all the information about what you are going to buy
We can´t get carried away only by the images that show us on the page where we are browsing. Since they cannot be 100% faithful to reality. To investigate thoroughly, read the entire description carefully and the reviews left by other people who have purchased the same thing. All to ensure that you are buying what you really want.
Shipping times and costs
Delivery time and shipping costs are other critical points to check. The shipping costs are often almost the same as what you are buying. Or, on the contrary, the product you are purchasing may have a meager price. But the shipping cost is very high, so it would not be a fruitful purchase.
Try to look for free shipping or a price much lower than what you are willing to pay.
Another consideration is shipping times. So, when making the purchase, verify in how many business days it is estimated to make the delivery. And the terms and conditions of the same, returns, among others.
Visit official stores
It is not the cheapest option, but it is the safest. Going to the official pages and stores where a product is manufactured or marketed is always the best option to buy.
Another option is to resort to trusted links, which offer the same way products of a particular brand. And that offers you, above all, security and perhaps better prices.
Check before entering an ad
Online advertisements, while they can be beneficial, also present an opportunity for scammers to target victims through this option.
By insistently seeing an ad and being attractive, we can be tempted to enter that image. Which will take us to the malicious link and obtain our information and possibly part of our income.
For this reason, avoid clicking on those ads from sites you do not know as much as possible. Although they may be reliable, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Alert with fake profiles on social media
Social media are good platforms for creating false profiles and carrying out scams. Part of the modus operandi is to make the purchase. And then delete the account to avoid being contacted again and to be able to make the relevant claim.
So, in the same way, you should try to visit official and recognized sites and handle this aspect.
If it is not a famous account, at least ensure they have common followers. They show purchase testimonials, respond promptly, and have several channels of contact and attention.
So again, we recommend extreme care in all those emails that you receive and are not from someone you know. Or you have not subscribed or given your consent to receive them.
Check the details well, especially the sender, since the address may be different, taking you to the wrong place.
Check the website footer
At the end of the pages, in what we can identify as a footer. Where the terms and conditions of use, and privacy policies, among others that are important, are usually located. Since, at the time of a problem, it is possible that you could fix it by looking at it first.
Likewise, in this space, there may be relevant information about the company or business. So, if it does not seem reliable, it is better to leave the site and go to another recognized one.
Use reliable payment methods.
By reliable payment methods, we mean those that allow you to claim and offer options to get your money back in the event of a scam. Especially if it is from little-known small pages or sites.
Therefore, use verification and encryption methods to ensure the transaction is more secure, and your data is protected.
Meet the face behind the operation
Something that you should also consider is who handles the commercial operations. All from indicating the product’s characteristics and prices and facilitating bank accounts. Along with everything related to shipping and that is all are clearly defined. Otherwise, be suspicious and give up on that place.
Protect your information
Avoid providing unnecessary data. So, if they tell you to fill out any additional form where they ask for information that is not common or is not essential to carry out the business, leave the site because we may be dealing with a scam.
Analyze the product warranty
Most new products, and even second-hand ones, have a guarantee.
Only that at the time of purchase, check the specific time and the conditions to claim it.
If you have to make a return, ask for the corresponding time and everything necessary to make it effective.
Allocate a card for this type of purchase
Select a virtual wallet or prepaid account to make online purchases. And thus, avoid any account from which money can be withdrawn in the future.
Try to steer clear of fraud using this method. And use accounts where you can quickly recharge and withdraw money and not leave anything at the mercy of scammers.
Buying online is not an impossible mission. You just have to be careful and avoid anything that looks suspicious or of dubious origin. Buy safely and correctly, avoiding the vulnerability of your data, especially your money.